roland@equalpartners.ca
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Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

Loneliness and Loners – VI. A Tragic Example

What follows is based on an actual case which was widely publicized at the time in the Ottawa newspapers. Nevertheless, because of the passage of time, and out of respect for the people who were directly, or indirectly, involved, all names have been changed. As well, places and dates have been left out.

In a school close to where I used to live, a terrible tragedy occurred which vividly illustrates the damage a loner can cause.

On this day, one of the most popular and charismatic teachers in the school was teaching a not-for-credit course on religion. As was usually the case, a standing-room-only crowd of students was attending. There were over 60 students perched on desk tops and window sills. And this teacher had their undivided attention.

Suddenly, the door was opened violently and a gun barrel was thrust through the doorway. The gunman opened fire on the helpless victims who could not escape; pandemonia, screams and sheer panic ensued as everybody tried to hit the floor. The terror seemed to last for an eternity; in reality, it lasted for only 20 seconds. As suddenly as the door was opened, it was closed. The students heard one more shot, followed by total silence – a silence as deafening as the noise that preceded it.

The gunman was one of their peers, his name was Patrick. When the questions started, it turned out that Patrick was a “non-entity” among the other students, really no more than a name to most of his classmates.

Before I proceed, let me describe the tragedy in its entirety. The hellish scene in the classroom was Act II of a horror that started early on.

A girl by the name of Sandra, from another school, had some sympathy for Patrick and went occasionally to his house for dinner. On this day, Patrick raped her and then stabbed her to death. He then set his parent’s house on fire.

Patrick was a quiet, studious, not conventionally attractive teenager. He was an A-student and a member of the military cadets where he learned how to shoot a gun. He had difficulty conversing with anyone, especially girls.

Patrick was a typical loner, a mystery to everyone, including his parents. The kind of mystery that needed to be elucidated to avoid a potential tragedy. But Patrick was, at his request, left alone by his parents. They had allowed him considerable solitude in his bedroom apartment since the age of 12 or 13. By the time he was 17, he asked for nothing less than total privacy. And his parents did not object.

It was never possible to reconstruct an even shadowy picture of Patrick and the motivation behind his actions on this terrible day. For, with his last shot, Patrick took his own life. In addition to Sandra, one of the students, Bruno, died. Miraculously, this was the only fatality caused by the shooting. For the surviving students, questions remain, and nightmares to last a lifetime.

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